Much of the growing transfer of wealth to the rich is in fact only possible because of government coercion. Many of today's corporations (some portion of our military contractors, for instance) would not even exist in a free society, and those which did exist would have to be selling something that people (not government) were willing to pay for.
But today, we don't have a free society, and government power is massive enough to make or break any corporation or industry. Government power is now being used to hand billions and even trillions of dollars to failed businessmen (many of whom failed due to serious fraud, as with "liar loans" in the banking industry) and to connected corporations and other groups. Today, government control of various industries (misleadingly called "regulation") enables bad corporate behavior, stifles competition, allows massive pollution to go unpunished, and raises prices to artificial and even absurd levels. Today, corporations and special interest groups pull vast amounts of money from the masses unfairly, using the State's coercive power to their advantage in a hundred different ways – against the rest of us.
It is these people and groups – the ones whose wealth grows because of government action instead of from honest service to others in the market – who have impoverished the great mass of Americans. For the purposes of this essay, then, "the 1%" means "wealthy people whose wealth derives from the use of government coercion."
Read the entire essay at Strike the Root.
Editor in Chief, THL
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